The Queen is honoured by tree planting initiative

London Stansted’s Managing Director, Gareth Powell, has planted an English alder tree at the airport to celebrate the Queen's Green Canopy (QGC) initiative.

The nationwide scheme was launched last year to honour the late Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee and encourages individuals, communities and businesses across the UK to plant more trees to create a lasting living legacy for the next generation.

The airport's contribution to the scheme was completed by Mr Powell's planting of the final tree near Stansted Airport College with the help of Airport Environmental Specialist, Sam Lomax, and Daniel Burford, Community Engagement Manager.

The event marked the end of a week-long volunteering effort by airport staff which saw them plant 1,600 trees - one for every employee working for airport owner, MAG - at Gunyah Vinyards in Stansted Mountfitchet.

The initiative supported not only the QGC project, but also the airport's environmental sustainability work and the local community.

With a spade in hand, Gareth Powell said:

“Having the opportunity to plant this tree in honour of Her Majesty the Queen is a great privilege. With 1,600 native trees planted by our employees in the local community, this final tree is a lasting tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth II, who opened the airport's iconic terminal in 1991, and will be a lasting legacy for future generations. 

"We do a lot of great work to improve and maintain the biodiversity on our airport site, and it's important for our staff to become engaged in that work, which projects like this help with. While planting trees near an airport is restricted, we partnered with Gunyah Vineyard to complete this project in the local area. Due to its location near the railway line, customers using the Stansted Express will be able to see the plantation develop over the years. 

"At London Stansted we have committed to zero net loss of biodiversity. This means initiatives such as this ensure that the airport grows sustainably and benefits the local community as well."

Mike Hayton of Gunyah Vinyards, said:

“I was amazed the team were able to plant so many trees when they were here, it’s going to be wonderful to watch them grow and recreate the woodland which was once here. The trees will create a perfect backdrop to the vineyard.”

The QGC initiative, which ends today, March 31, has resulted in the planting of more than a million trees across the UK after King Charles extended the initiative in September following the Queen's death.

This is the airport's second year planting trees in the local community. Volunteers from the airport planted 1,000 trees at the Bridge Meadow Donkey Sanctuary in Widdington last March. A variety of native trees were planted over three days, including silver birch, hazel, larch, scotch pine, and eared willow.